As high achieving students, I’m sure many of you can sympathize with feelings of being pushed by teachers and family to be the best that you can be. Ever since middle school when I discovered my passion in the medical field, I’ve been encouraged to go to years and years of school and get a medical degree, since I had clearly demonstrated that I had the grades and motivation to do so. However, I was never certain that was the right choice for me, and recently I have realized, in the summer before my junior year of college, that being the best me that I can possibly be is not all about getting the greatest degree possible. There are layers of me that are much more significant than my ultimate career, the most important of which is family.
This past June my house was struck by lightening, and while we were very fortunate that the structural damage of the house was contained to one room, rebuilding along with fixing the smoke and water damage took months. My family spent five months in a rental house, and after I moved back to Ames in August for classes, I came home every other weekend to help rebuild the floors and sort through everything that had to be taken out of the home and we were eventually able to spend Thanksgiving break moving back into our home. My family amazed me with their calmness throughout the whole experience, but the most powerful moments for me were how quickly we adjusted to being somewhere out of our environment, the house I had lived in since kindergarten. While I have always been very close to my family and consider my mom my best friend, it was during that time living away from everything I was used to that it really hit me that where we live and the possessions that we aren’t what make each day so special.
Then, in the middle of September while I was at an Iowa State football game I got a phone call that my younger brother got in a car accident. He managed to crawl out of the shattered windshield of a rolled car with just a few shards of glass in his arm. It was an accident that officers on the scene said were usually fatal. That moment solidified that not only were my family members the most important part of my life, but that we were extremely lucky and life could be short, so I needed to value each opportunity I have with them.
While I am proud of anyone, including my own mother, willing to take the time to go to medical school and have long hours to help the greater good, I now know that I would never be happy spending so much time away from my current and future family. For this reason, I have chosen to be a Physician’s Assistant. While I knew it is the right decision in my heart, I was nervous how my peers and professors would react, since it appears like I’m taking an easier way out. I have discovered that while some people may judge, the only thing that matters is that I am confident in my decision, because I didn’t make it for them, I made it for myself.
Even before I decided in middle school that I wanted to be in a medical field, I would tell people that my goal in life was to be happy. And being happy is the best me that I can be.
– Posted by Kelcy